Lunar Interior, Geophysical Models
Our understanding of the Moon’s internal structure is based primarily on the results from experiments deployed by the Apollo 11–17 missions. Most of these experiments were operated from 1969 to 1977, although the laser ranging network continues to be used. The best measurements of internal structure are derived from seismic studies, which provide information about the variation of seismic velocity and mineralogy with depth. Electromagnetic sounding using a combination of surface and orbital magnetometers provides constraints on how electrical conductivity varies with depth in the Moon; in turn, this helps to constrain some aspects of core and mantle composition, particularly metal and water content, along with temperature. Laser ranging measures how the Moon deforms and changes its rotation rate in response to tidal forces; these changes are related to the distribution of mechanically weak layers inside the Moon. Measurements of the Moon’s heat flow determine the rate at...
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